RSM Classic: Can Sungjae Im avoid post-Masters letdown?

Sungjae Im looks to avoid the post-Masters letdown this week at Sea Island Golf Club, can he?

Sungjae Im is one of many to make the short trip south of Augusta this week for the RSM Classic and after an impressive performance at the Master’s last weekend that resulted in a runner-up finish the Korean will be looking to avoid a post-Masters letdown.

The 22-year-old Sungjae Im is one of the PGA Tours rising stars and last week he provided further evidence that he is here to stay after an incredible performance that saw him finish runner-up to Masters champion Dustin Johnson in what was Im’s first experience at Augusta National.

This week’s RSM Classic will be held after the Masters for the very first time and it will replace the RBC Heritage for this year only as the PGA’s reshuffled 2019-20 schedule continues.

Sungjae is one of the favourites in the field this week and he will look to buck a recent trend of a player not being able to win the week after coming off a good performance at Augusta National.

As the event that is held traditionally after the Masters every year in April, the RBC Heritage has seen the majority of its champions since the turn of the century win at Harbour Town after either not playing in or missing the cut at Augusta the week prior.

Below are past champions at Harbour Town since 2000 and their results from the week before their win, this excludes this year’s RBC Heritage played after golf restarted back in June.

2019 – C.T Pan – Didn’t play at the Masters
2018 – Satoshi Kodaira – 28th at Augusta
2017 – Wesley Bryan – Didn’t play at the Masters
2016 – Branden Grace – MC at Augusta
2015 – Jim Furyk – MC at Augusta
2014 – Matt Kuchar – 5th at Augusta
2013 – Graeme McDowell – MC at Augusta
2010 – Jim Furyk – MC at Augusta
2009 – Brian Gay – Didn’t play at the Masters
2008 – Boo Weekley – 20th at Augusta
2007 – Boo Weekley – Didn’t play at the Masters
2006 – Aaron Baddeley – Didn’t play at the Masters
2005 – Peter Lonard – MC at Augusta
2004 – Stewart Cink – 17th at Augusta
2003 – Davis Love – 15th at Augusta
2002 – Justin Leonard – 20th at Augusta
2001 – Jose Coceres – MC at Augusta
2000 – Stewart Cink – 28th at Augusta

As can be seen, the evidence shown suggests that coming off a good result the week previous has not yet translated into a win in the event post-Masters.

Sungjae will be hoping he doesn’t fall victim to that trend this week at Sea Island and he will be reliant upon the fact that since arriving on tour he is very familiar with playing consecutive weeks, often having had success in doing so.

The Korean figures to be a good course fit this week also having performed well at comparable courses including two top 25 finishes at the Sony Open in 2019 and 2020, two top 10 finishes at the Wyndham Championship in back to back years, and his first PGA win at the Honda Classic earlier this year.

The question remains however whether or not this post-Masters trend will continue with Sungjae Im this week, or if he can in fact be the first in quite some time to win the week after coming off an excellent showing at Augusta National.

If anyone can it would seem that Sungjae is well equipped to do so this week.